Carson Palmer was wrong.
Chad Johnson will not be attending Bengals team functions including mandatory practices.
Trouble is Johnson didn't tell Palmer in a face-to-face meeting. Apparently, Johnson decided a better way to refute Palmer's statements was through ESPN writer, John Clayton.
Keep in mind, Johnson has refused to talk to the Cincinnati media since October of last year.
Johnson also told Clayton that he doesn't want to play for the Bengals (despite being under contract until 2011) and that he wants out of Cincinnati.
"I want to be traded before the draft, and if that doesn't happen, I want to be traded as soon as possible...I don't intend on reporting to anything," Johnson said to Clayton.
It seems that a two week gap in not seeing his name in the headlines justified pussyfooting around Bengals’ players and management (not to mention the Cincinnati media) and going directly to a source guaranteed to get his name back on the front page: ESPN.
I don't fault Clayton for running the story (he'd be a fool not to) but if I were Carson Palmer (and thankfully I'm not), I'd probably be sitting in my car with a baseball bat waiting for Ocho Cinco to leave his house for the perfect moment to ruin the guy’s career.
What team would be willing to take an NFL wide receiver after he'd been "hobbled" Kathy Bates-style?
But I digress. I guess you'd have to be a Bengals fan and/or resident of Cincinnati (or former resident, in my case) to fully understand how much this pisses off Bengal nation (all three of us).
We've wallowed in misery for the past 17 seasons, hoping, praying, and sacrificing our first-borns for the dream of one day seeing success return to this lowly franchise run by the dickless son of a coaching great.
I don't blame those of you (all other NFL fans) for laughing at our misfortunate year in and year out. At least you can look at your team (I'm talking to you specifically, Arizona Cardinals fans) and say, "Hey, at least we're not the Bengals."
I never thought I'd be doing this, but as much as I despise Mikey Boy, I have to give him credit thus far for refusing to trade Johnson.
I wrote an article on the Bleacher Report a few weeks ago urging the Bengals Organization to get rid of Johnson, and I still believe that in order to see success on the field (what little of it the Bengals can muster in their current state), children need to be kicked out of the locker room (to the Bengals' credit, Chris Henry is gone).
Just once, I'd like to see Mikey Boy consider the franchise's on-field success over his pocketbook, eat the salary cap penalty, and get some draft picks that will help out the team in the short term.
Still, it’s a double-edged sword. Chad Johnson is under contract with the Bengals, and the Organization could gain from keeping him on rather than trading him.
If Johnson refuses to show up for mandatory practices and other events, the Bengals could suspend and fine him, which would be a bold move by Mikey Boy.
Even better, let’s speculate that Johnson nullifies his contract through a number of violations. The Bengals cut him and laugh all the way to the bank.
The trouble with the possibility of Johnson violating his contract and the Bengals cutting him, is how can we trust the Bengals to bring in the right players needed in key positions?
How many "saviors" need to be drafted (Ki-Jana Carter and Dave Klinger, anyone?) before one (Carson Palmer) finally works?
I still think it'd be best to get rid of him as soon as possible, for the sake of the players currently on the team.
Carson Palmer's not getting any younger; same with Willie Anderson and who knows how long it'll be before TJ Houshmandzadeh starts demanding trades to play on a better team if things don't improve.
And Chad, if you've got a problem with Palmer's comments, let him know in person, instead of whining to ESPN.